The Best of Oregon... Mark's Travel Challenge

cnwriter..carolinaStarred Page By cnwriter..carolina, 28th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Oregon

Oregon enjoys a dramatic landscape with miles of beaches along a rugged seacoast. Fine whale watching and high mountain passes of the Oregon Cascades. The historic Columbia River Highway takes one through the vistas and waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge. The wilderness areas, national forests and Crater Lake, Oregon's national park, are all favorite recreation destinations.

A Friendly Green City


Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States that was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers and settlers. This beautiful state reminds me in so many ways of Warwickshire in England where I grew up. The greenery, the forests, the undulating hills and valleys spread an aura of tranquillity and even the cities measure themselves on the Green scale.

Exploring Portland's Neighbourhoods

Portland, the state's major city and leading international hub, is a vibrant city with a fine arts and entertainment pedigree. It is also known as one of the world’s environmentally friendly ‘green’ cities. Staying in this principal city of Oregon was a pleasure and surprise!

Being so used to the clatter of main cities in the world and the penny pinching of public services that goes on, it was an amazing experience to be able to travel free on the streetcars, trolleys, light rail trains and buses.
However, this is definitely a walk-about city, so much to look at, so many areas to explore with restaurants galore offering every type of cuisine, and hotels priced to suit every pocket.

You can wander through neighbourhoods representing different cultures and enjoy art, parks, markets, galleries and shops.

The Pearl District

I found The Pearl District quite by chance.

Early one morning, I left my hotel to visit Chinatown and whilst travelling on the tram, I noticed many wonderful little artsy stores and cafes.
So I hopped off and went window shopping, stopping for coffee au lait and delicious rosemary bread toast at Isabel Pearl Restaurant on NW 10th Avenue where the informative young waitress, Sarah, told me about the incredible butter they use that is only made about two months of the year when the special grass fed to dairy cows is available.

The Pearl District is also home to perhaps the largest privately owned bookshop in the USA. Powells is its name and I spent hours wandering through the many sections of this incredible store with its offerings of books of every genre and age. You can enjoy a delicious grilled cheese sandwich and coffee in their busy cafe and just to let you know, every Portland café serves strong, fragrant coffee.

Chinatown and A Classical Chinese Garden

I continued walking to Chinatown that was rather sleepy at that time of day but would come alive later in the afternoon and evening in this bustling metropolis. The many shops are inviting to those who love gems and unusual items, delightfully carved furniture and bric a brac. Hours can be spent searching for a very special gift in this fascinating neighborhood apart from sampling won tons, duck and dumplings in the many eateries scattered throughout.

The Classical Chinese Garden is a must for those who love ponds and bridges, serpentine walkways, an incredible Chinese teahouse and lattice screened pavilions.

The Alberta and Cultural Districts


The Alberta Arts District is definitely a multicultural hot spot. One of Portland’s oldest neighbourhoods, it has become the home to many trendy boutiques, fine restaurants and grassroots art studios.
Do stop at Alberta’s Cork Wine shop for hand-selected wines, gourmet foods and artisan chocolate bars. They also stock many of Oregon's fine wines produced by local wineries.

You can wander down to the Cultural District and visit some of Portland’s parks and cultural institutions; the Portland Art Museum displaying Asian, Native American and European and American art; the Oregon Historical Society and enjoy the dramas or light-hearted offerings at the Centre for the Performing Arts.

Nob Hill


Nob Hill in Northwest Portland is another interesting area of the city.
Home to a dynamic blend of young and old alike, here you can find boutiques and upscale bistros, and a few national retailers if that is your bailiwick! The folk of Portland appreciate fine design and fine food and wine so in this neighborhood you can taste and look to your heart's content!

Wineries of Oregon...the Montinore Estate


Yes, Oregon is known for its wine and I was fortunate to visit the Montinore Estate where the owner and winemaker made me very welcome. We sampled some of his wines and enjoyed nibbles of home made cheeses that he makes only for himself and family.

Of Italian heritage, Rudy Marchesi took over the estate in 2006 although he had been President of the former estate since 1992. Like me he is a purist and only grapes grown on his own estate are used. Rudy affirmed the healthier the vine, the better the wine, and grows organically on his farm.

The Oregon region is the best region in the world for growing Pinot Noir grapes and the majority of his estate is given over to this. Montinore told me that his estate of 230 acres of grapes are grown according to the strict tenets of Biodynamics which some of you will find interesting as Rudolph Steiner back in the 1900's was the founder of Biodynamics. The wines are produced using Demeter USA’s Biodynamic winemaking standards.

A City for All Reasons and Seasons!

The weather in Portland and Oregon can be windy and rainy as happens in most Pacific Northwest States averaging between 39 F in January to 76 F in July.
But wrapping up warmly is a great way to counteract the cold and when one is enjoying the local scenery, it really is of little consequence. Walking in the rain can be so much fun, watching the clouds scud by and the variations of light and dark in the sky changing and shifting.

After all to visit a city leading the way in sustainable living, who can ask for more!

Tags

Adventurous, Alberta Art District, Beaches, China Town, Columbia River Gorge, Dramatic Landscapes, Historic Columbia Highway, Montinore Wine Estate, Nob Hill, Oregon Cascade, Portlands Varied Neighborhoods, Ruggedly Beautiful, Salem, Wild, Wineries

Meet the author

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
I have been writing on food, wine, travel, cosmic creation and erotica for over 30 years I do horoscopes and numerology and light readings.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
29th Feb 2012 (#)

My wife has been, I never have, she tells me of the sea lions on the coast. Good information on Oregon!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
29th Feb 2012 (#)

thanks for the yellow star Mark and I do hope you visit this lovely city...

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author avatar Denise O
29th Feb 2012 (#)

cn, this is one state I have not been to and want to, so darn bad! You have peaked my interest even more, with this well written and informative article on Oregon. Just love the photos also. You are a star! As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Teila
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Sounds wonderful!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
29th Feb 2012 (#)

thank you Denise and Teila..so supportive you both are LOL

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author avatar Songbird B
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Sounds so great to a Brit like me, Carolan..I felt I was walking alongside you my friend, your descriptive qualities are second to none..

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Am a Brit too lovely Songbird living in the USofA....thank you for your words..

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author avatar Buzz
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Exquisite prose describing vividly and in detail memories of your visit to Oregon. Thanks for sharing a great star page, dear friend.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
29th Feb 2012 (#)

thank you too my dear friend..

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author avatar Delicia Powers
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Very wonderful, well done:0)!!!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
29th Feb 2012 (#)

thank you Delicia..what a delicious name

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author avatar Tess Irons
6th Mar 2012 (#)

Great article, cnwriter. When did you go to Portland, Oregon? It's my neighbor. I also go there.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
6th Mar 2012 (#)

A couple of years ago on a press trip...it was super!! I love the Pacific Northwest and up that coastline to Canada...it is a very ancient place...

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